Some 65 sled dog teams from seven Western states are expected to compete for $5,000 in prize money at the Atta Boy Heber Valley Classic Sled Dog Race Feb. 2-3 at Wasatch State Park near Midway.
While admission is free, spectators will be asked to donate to a special fund earmarked to help reforest areas of the park devastated by a wildfire last summer. The rehabilitation effort is being spearheaded by the Kanganark Mushers of Utah, hosts for the races. A drawing for two round-trip tickets to San Jose, Calif., along with other prizes, will be held for those making donations.Professional teams will compete in eight-, six- and four-dog team categories, and there will be a three-dog category for amateurs. No prize money will be awarded in the three-dog category, but trophies will be presented to the top finishers.
Competition will begin at 9 a.m. each day and go until about 3 p.m.
The Heber City Little League will run concessions at the park. Proceeds will be divided between the Little League and the park rehabilitation fund.
The Atta Boy Heber Valley Classic is one of the premier events on the Rocky Mountain circuit of the International Sled Dog Racing Association. At least four teams competing in the Heber competition are scheduled to compete in the International Race of Champions Feb. 9-10 in Winnipeg, Canada.
Members of the all-volunteer American Search Dogs group will attend both days of the race, providing assistance and putting on search and rescue demonstrations between racing events.